A McCreary County couple will serve federal jail time after defrauding Social Security for nearly half a million dollars for collecting benefits paid to a dead relative.
According to Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Oliver Taylor, 59, was convicted of theft of government property, health care fraud and defrauding the Social Security Administration, while his wife at the time, Lisa Taylor, 51, was convicted of Social Security fraud in U.S. District Court last week.
According to court documents Oliver Taylor began receiving Social Security benefit payments on behalf of his elderly mother in 1993. Following his mother’s death in 1995, and continuing until 2014, Oliver Taylor repeatedly failed to report his mother’s death to the SSA, in order to continue receiving her benefit payments for his own personal use. Specifically, Oliver made false statements to the SSA and signed his deceased mother’s name on eligibility forms to indicate she was still alive.
For approximately seven years, Lisa Taylor assisted in the fraud scheme, by signing SSA reports for Oliver and by pretending to be Oliver’s mother during a phone conversation with the SSA.
The Taylors reportedly fraudulently obtained a total of $487,798.98 in Social Security benefits
Because Oliver illegally converted his mother’s benefits to his own use, he was ineligible for his own SSA benefits. Additionally, he fraudulently failed to report the money he collected from his mother’s benefits as income to the SSA and Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services.
Last week Oliver Taylor was sentenced to 33 months in prison by U.S District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove, while Lisa was sentenced to 18 months. Under federal guidelines they will have to serve at least 85 percent of their prison sentences.
The investigation was conducted by the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam C. Reeves prosecuted the case.